U.S. asks judge to block book publisher merger as trial closes

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By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday urged a U.S. judge to block a $2.2 billion merger of two of the “Big Five” book publishers, saying “competition matters” and said the industry should not be treated differently from others. The Justice Department last year sued to stop Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher and owned by German media group Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA, from buying rival Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global. U.S. District Judge Florence Pan is expected to issue a written decision in the coming months after both sides…

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